Pomegranate seeds that were contaminated with Hepatitis A caused 165 cases of the illness throughout the United States, although the cases mainly occurred in the Western United States. The ten-state outbreak caused 71 people to be hospitalized. The states affected include California with 80 cases, Arizona with 24 cases, Hawaii with 8 cases, Colorado with 29 cases, New Jersey with 1 case, New Hampshire with 1 case, Nevada with 6 cases, New Mexico with 11 cases, Wisconsin with 2 cases, and Utah with 3 cases.
The outbreak was discovered after a large string of people became infected after eating pomegranate seeds that were produced by Townsend Farms between March 31 and July 26, 2013. The genotype of Hepatitis that caused the outbreak is rare in North America but is found more often in the Middle East and North Africa.
Hepatitis is a highly contagious infection. Its symptoms include jaundice, nausea, fatigue, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. These symptoms appear between 15 and 50 days after infection, and may last up to a few months. Hepatitis A can, however, be prevented via vaccination.